You know there has always been a trepidation for me when it came to riding scooters. Though I appreciate the convenience as well as the practicality that scooters offer, there were two reasons for not liking them. One was the fact that my long legs were always at loggerheads with the handlebar of scooters and two, they weren’t as much fun as say motorcycles. Things though changed when I laid my hands on the new Suzuki Burgman Street in 2018. Here was one scooter that offered almost everything including good looks, the big automatic two-wheeler feel and most importantly happy knees. I liked it so much that it was decided that whenever we need a scooter for our family, the Burgman it will be. So, when the BS6 edition came and especially with Bluetooth functionality, the feeling of the “perfect scooter” came into my mind.
Am I overenthusiastic about this scooter or does it actually justify the Rs 85,000 ex-showroom price tag? For that, my friends, you got to read this new Suzuki Burgman Street BS6 review.
Not much has changed here and that’s a good thing. Nothing is broken, and as such, no fixing is required. The Burgman looks fantastic with a pair of LED headlights (very much functional in the dark), a small visor (aesthetic appeal), a fully-digital instrument console with Bluetooth (wow!) and a broad seat with enough storage space underneath.
What I would have wanted Suzuki to upgrade will be the rear section tyre. Currently, it looks so puny that there are jokes written about it. Just like the Suzuki Intruder 150, even the Burgman seems to have missed leg days at the gym. An outside fuel-filler will have been nice too. Apart from this, I wouldn’t want to change a thing about this design.
Let’s talk about the new things here. The Burgman boasts a new LCD instrument console with a pleasant white backlight. The size is the same as before but the layout has changed. One now gets the engine temperature, dual trip meters, an Eco riding indicator, and the best of all – turn-by-turn navigation. I quite liked the ease of pairing the Bluetooth-enabled instrument cluster with phone, the trip reports it generates, calls/SMS, Whatsapp alerts, SoS feature, and more. Even the MapMyIndia navigation proved to be decent whereas on other platforms I had seen it lag quite a bit.
An engine kill switch with an integrated starter makes its way to the BS6 iteration. Like before, there are also two cubby holes on the front apron, with the left one having a closable (unfortunately, not lockable) cavity and USB socket now with illumination. On both these cavities, you can comfortably place a 6.4-inch smartphone. The 21.5-litre boot space is huge but does without a light and cannot fit a full-face ISI helmet. There are a couple of hooks as well. The vehicle tyre pressure, as well as the capacity of the storage spaces, is neatly listed under the boot. Me likey!
Suzuki still doesn’t offer a rear brake clamp with the scooter. The Suzuki Ride Connect app is only available on the Android platform. Those with iOS phones will have to wait a bit longer.
This is one aspect that new riders will appreciate – the smoothness of the 8.4hp/10Nm, 124cc mill, though the torque is down by 0.2Nm from the BS4 motor. In the BS6 transition, most of the scooter engines have become much smoother and ones with lesser vibrations as well. Speaking of which, one will notice the handlebar as well as mirrors vibrating a bit at start. However, on the move, there is nothing to say that the engine is even running. This is something I didn’t quite like as the BS4 unit had a certain raw appeal to it. The acceleration had a punch, something that is missing in the linear nature of the BS6 powertrain. But, that’s just me – someone who has experienced both the scooters. A buyer might not have ridden the older scooter and hence will be quite at home with the new one.
Mileage-wise, the Suzuki Burgman BS6 returned 44kmpl in the city and 51.4kmpl on the highway. Very good numbers for the performance as well as speed it attains. Speaking of speed, the top speed I saw on the speedometer was 95kmph and at this point, there were no vibrations or the motor didn’t feel out of breath either.
This is where I was a bit disappointed. You see the BS4 model made me comfortable right from the word go. While initially it seemed that Suzuki hasn’t changed the ergonomics, with the BS6 model they seemed to have played around a bit – not to my liking though. The handlebar used to brush against my knee every time I try and take a turn. I did try and verify this by riding the older Burgman and the change was very much apparent. The older Burgman behaved the way I expected it to. Suzuki though is yet to confirm the changes. So, if you are tall and looking at the Burgman, do take a test ride before buying it. Just for this sole reason.
This aside, you are seated in a very plush seat – both for the rider and pillion. The rider can also place his/her legs on the apron or on the floorboard. While the Burgman with its 110kg weight may seem bulky by the look of it, this is far from the truth. It is pretty easy to maneuver this scooter in traffic and you will end up appreciating the sweet handling as well nimbleness in traffic. The scooter also is quite stable at higher speeds and while the crosswinds do affect it, the rider will still feel completely in control of the vehicle.
Ride quality seemed a bit stiff with just me on-board. With a pillion, the rear monoshock bottomed out a bit. I guess the ride could have been a bit plusher. What you will appreciate are the brakes (disc in front and drum at the rear). They stop the scooter in a safe manner, especially with the CBS helping sort things. I though wish the feel from the front lever could be a bit communicative. At 160mm, the ground clearance is decent but you got to watch over the bigger speed humps, especially so with a pillion.
The Burgman is expensive for a 125cc scooter. But, when you look at a certain Aprilia as well as the general price increase across range, the Suzuki makes sense. It has got everything you need and some more. The Suzuki reliability is widely known and while the appeal of the BS4 scooter is missing from the BS6 motor and ergonomics, this will still be my pick amongst the current crop of underbone vehicles. That is until some other manufacturer picks up from where Suzuki left and builds a better maxi-scooter. I am looking at you Honda, Yamaha, Hero and TVS.
Photos by Ali Asgar Bharmal and Pradeep Pawar
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